Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
Computationally Tractable Choice
Modibo Camara, PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, Northwestern University,

Abstract: I incorporate computational constraints into decision theory in order to capture how cognitive limitations affect behavior. I impose an axiom of computational tractability that rules out behaviors that are thought to be fundamentally hard. I use this framework to better understand common behavioral heuristics: if choices are tractable and consistent with the expected utility axioms, then they are observationally equivalent to forms of choice bracketing. Then I show that a computationally-constrained decisionmaker can be objectively better off if she is willing to use heuristics that would not appear rational to an outside observer.

For more information, or if you are interested in attending this online seminar, please contact Barbara Estrada by email at bestrada@hss.caltech.edu.